Jo Loves Pink Vetiver: Handsome in pink

I love the way Jo Malone uses her Jo Loves label to throw curveballs all over the perfume world. Pink Vetiver’s name predisposes for a feminine, even girly interpretation of the classic masculine note. And the opening fullfills this promise. Momentarily. “Pink” comes mostly from pink pepper but there is also a vague florality in there that is totally unjustified by the official note listing. Bright citrus, pink pepper and ginger are the notes that I can identify but everything smells like a beautiful pink magnolia. I know pink magnolias don’t usually smell but still I cannot shake the image of the flower from my head. Very quickly though the texture of the composition starts changing. It becomes warm and velvety, almost oriental. The original freshness gives way to warm spices. The star of the heart is cumin! I love cumin in food as well as in fragrances so if you run away from it my word probably won’t count. But this is truly the most beautifully incorporated cumin note I have ever smelled. Pitched at exactly the right tone, it doesn’t smell like food at all. It adds a beautiful warm texture and accentuates the floral elements this spice carries. The longer it stays on skin, the stronger vetiver becomes. It is the classic moderately earthy, moderately smoky vetiver note that is easily found in most masculine colognes but cumin makes the difference here. It transforms coolness into an electrifying mix. The drydown is destined to be a crowd pleaser and I have a really difficult time trying to  stop sniffing my wrists.

Pink vetiver evolves beautifully from a more feminine opening to a more masculine drydown but what really sets the composition apart is the ingenious use of cumin. It is a perfectly unisex composition that made me think of the way Heeley Parfums officially describe their perfumes:

On a man: a crisp, pink cotton shirt

On a woman: a sexy, grey silk blouse

Notes from Jo Loves: Pink Crushed Peppercorns, Juniper Berries, Cardamom, Cumin, Nutmeg, Ginger, Angelica, Vetiver and Amber

Notes from my nose: magnolia, ginger, pink pepper, cumin, vetiver, juniper berries

Disclaimer: the sample was offered as part of a promotion to members of Jo Loves mailing list

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


About Christos

Scientifically minded but obsessed with the subjective aspect of things. Photos copyright of MemoryOfScent, with special thanks to Pantelis Makkas You are welcome to link to my blog but you are definitely not allowed to copy text or use the photos without my permission. All text and main photos are originals and property of MemoryOfScent All perfumes are from my collection unless stated otherwise.


  1. Nice review! It sounds very interesting …fem to butch in one sitting. Loved the shirt and blouse suggestions too. Nice touch.

  2. Lady Jane Grey

    I loved it for the first sniff ! I’ll be back at Jo Loves this very Thursday and I might grab a bottle of PV…

  3. Sounds dishy, as I do love cumin in fragrance. Looking at the notes for this one, I’m reminded of Frederic Malle Angeliques Sous la Pluie, except that this sounds much more “forward” (rather than reserved) and sensual.

  4. To the fans over the pond they were sending … scented blotters. I’m still shaking my head in disbelief.

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